Last Day of School

June 14, 2024 by Adam in Family

It's the last day of school and change is in the air.  Ben's the only kid actually needing to go in at this point.  Emma finished her finals and met with her thesis advisor, while Duncan plopped all his photography class photos at the dinner table for us to show off.  It's already starting to feel like the summer is packed with activities.

Jo's starting up their schoolwork, reading through all the stories submitted by their cohort and scribbling down feedback.  Emma spent the week carving wooden spoons and listening to classical music on the old AM/FM radio she bought at the flea market last week.  I helped Jo garden last night, putting in pretty flowers into some of the newly made garden beds.

Tomorrow the friend D&D group starts up and I've been painting miniatures and sprucing up battlemaps.  It'll be great to see everyone again.  Friday is Father's Day and I'm hoping I can convince the kids to play a little Jackbox or something similar.

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Kayaks and Flea Markets

June 10, 2024 by Adam in Family

It's perfect weather time - sunny and warm without being too hot.  Friday night Ben had a sleepover, though I managed to completely forget when I set the table for breakfast.  Saturday Emma and I went kayaking down at the mill race, having fun visiting with the little ducklings.  Jo spent a good deal of time working on the irrigation system and has mostly automated the watering of the backyard garden beds.  Sunday I took Emma to the flea market, which was a first for me.  Half the fun was watching the people who go to flea markets in all their awesomeness.  Emma picked up a cool picnic basket and small radio while I got a couple boxes perfect for minis.

It's finals week for the kids and summer is already feeling well-scheduled with trips and jobs and such.  I've been putting the farm on hold, though I suspect we'll have to figure things out before the end of summer.  I've got a D&D session to plan for this weekend - hopefully I remember how to play.

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Summer is Coming

June 07, 2024 by Adam in Family

We're getting a wave of warm temperatures this week and I finally got around to installing the air conditioner in my shed.  Our garden beds are full of lettuce, which makes our neighbors across the street happy as Jo keeps bringing over endless bags.  Fire season is just around the corner and I've completely failed at organizing taking care of some burn piles at the farm.  Hopefully this summer we can at least run a brush hog around or maybe a tractor.

I made Ben watch the replay of the Starship landing last night, which was really impressive considering it partially melted on the way down but still managed to land softly.  With finals next week, the kids' schedules are getting a little funky.  Last night I had to rescue Duncan from LCC after he stayed past the last bus printing photographs.

No D&D this weekend - it's still quite a ways out for various reasons.  I'll need to reschedule the family D&D session as Emma is going to visit Sam later this month.  I've been filling the time painting and printing miniatures and finding cool maps along the way.  I bought a D&D themed tarot deck as a prop.  The preparation is half the fun.

Hopefully I can get some downtime in this weekend.  My brain is getting a little melty from stuffing information into it.  I should take some time off this summer one of these days too.

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Farm Visits and Flatpack Furniture

June 03, 2024 by Adam in Family

Saturday Jo, Emma and I headed out to the farm, along with mom.  The loggers finally finished up their remediation work along the stream and surprisingly did a decent job cleaning things up.  The blackberries are already starting to pop up and I can see how they'll take over unless we do things soon.  Still, we saw a deer wandering around and many of the trees we planted seemed to be doing okay.  Only the cedar seemed to be having a hard time of it, with the hemlock surprisingly happy.

We've got a bunch of slash management to deal with and blackberries too.  The neighbor sold their tractor, which is a bummer, and fire season starts soon.  Not sure we'll get organized in time - it likely will require running a brush hog around to be able to get to the piles that need to be burned.  Anyway, I'm trying hard not to get too stressed out about it all.

Sunday we celebrated nonbinary parent day for Jo, with the requisite presents at breakfast.  After asking what they wanted to do most of all, the answer was assembly flatpack furniture, so Emma and I got to work.  Even though it took way too long and required some disassembly to fix a few things, the end result looked good and hopefully keeps things a little more organized.  Jo also got another scholarship from Eugene PRIDE - they've been working hard at applying for scholarships for their master's program, so it's nice to see the work pay off.

Goodbye Reservoir

May 31, 2024 by Adam in Family

We tromped up to the top of College Hill last night to say farewell to the reservoir.  It's nearly a hundred years old and not up to earthquake code, so EWEB is going to demolish it and put in new tanks.  It was fun seeing so many people up there, with food trucks, roller bladers and music.  I took Sam and Emma up there to practice bike riding many years ago and watched fireworks from there at least once.

School is wrapping up at a rapid pace, with one more week of "real" school, then finals and summertime.  Already it's starting to feel busy.

We also got news of the loggers finally finishing their cleanup.  With fire season approaching soon, we have a small window to get people in to burn a couple piles - we'll see if we can get it arranged in time.  Hopefully by the end of the weekend we can go survey things and come up with a firm plan.

As for this weekend, Emma wants to do some post-birthday present stuff, printing out a solo RPG and hopefully get her registered for a pottery class.   The garden is coming along nicely, though there's always more to do.

Memorial Day Weekend

May 28, 2024 by Adam in Family

It was a good weekend - I could get used to having three days off.  Jeaux and I put in a bunch of time doing yardwork.  The beds are looking really nice - Jeaux put down weed blocker and I spread mulch between the beds.

Emma's birthday was fun, with tasty food and good presents.  She was a great Dungeon Master and put on a good show.  The next day she went off with her mom to have her first legal drink at the neighborhood bar and play pool with Jamie's bar friends.

I finally finished my DM screen - hopefully it'll work well for my next session.  I continue to print and paint more minis and get ready for the next sessions.

I've also been practicing my algorithm skills, jumping on leetcode to work through some of those problems.  It's weirdly fun, though occasionally my brain melts and I have to stop.

We'll see what happens this week.  Work is weird and wacky, as always.  The summer schedule is starting to get packed with trips, visitors, and other activities.  Busy, busy.

Birthday Girl

May 28, 2024 by Adam in Emma

Emma had her birthday celebrations over the weekend, which started with crepes and ended with Sweet Life cake and Tasty Thai dinner.  She got quite the fun haul of gifts, a good mix of practical and whimsical.  Hopefully she feels well appreciated.

She also decided she wanted to try out being a Dungeon Master and invited a few of the regular players for a one-shot birthday themed game.  Emma went all-out with the ambiance, from serving tea to hand-drawn portraits.  I loved being a player too, keeping a silly voice consistent throughout the game and breaking out the ukulele for some fun bardic improvisation.

DM Screen with Monitor

May 28, 2024 by Adam in Adam's Projects

I keep tweaking my D&D setup.  I started with a laptop for myself, attached to a tv laid flat for maps, and another monitor to display monster pictures or whatever.  I got rid of the second monitor recently, just displaying pictures over the maps themselves, but I didn't like how it was upside down for half the players and how it covered up the maps.  I saw someone turn a cheap monitor into a DM screen and knew I had to have one.

I'm not completely finished with it, but it's at least workable.  The design had lots of flat pieces to cut out and glue together, which ended up being somewhat annoying.  Still, I'm mostly happy with the end result and am already scheming various updates to make it even better.

Memorial Day Mocha Friday

May 24, 2024 by Adam in Family

I'm excited to have a three day weekend coming up.  Not only is it Emma's birthday, but she's running a D&D one-shot where I get to be a player for a change.  I made my fun gnome bard and whipped up a mini, mostly because I wanted the full player experience.

Ben survived nearly six hours taking his AP French test yesterday.  I suspect he did very well and when combined with his IB Economics test, he should end up with a bit of college credit.  He's still trying to figure out next year, but currently he's thinking about AP Chemistry in part because the teacher is so great.

Not sure anything particularly exciting happened this week.  My work continues to slog along.  Meals are cooked, laundry folded, and dishes washed.  I continue listening to podcasts and painting minis for the new campaign.  It's nice to both have D&D to play and all the fun prep along the way.

Monday will likely be my house project day.  Our dryer is noisy and I've got new rollers that hopefully fixes it.  There's soil to move and gardening to do.  One of these days I need to patch the hole in Duncan's ceiling.  I need a vacation just to get all my work done.

House of Records

May 20, 2024 by Adam in Family

It was a fun weekend, full of D&D, projects, and feeling cool at House of Records.

Friday had Emma and I heading to the library to scoop up some holds and pick up new books.  I'd reserved the comic Something Is Killing the Children, which was a fun and fast read - reminded me of a mix of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Stranger Things.

Saturday was the family group.  Emma made bread and doughnuts, which were well recieved.  They had their first fight, breaking out the mine cart minis and Seraph saving the day by cooking a spider.  I worked more on the DM screen with the monitor afterwards, finishing up the side pieces.  I think I just have some hinges to add and it should be good to go.

Sunday was the friend group with the great heist wrapping up.  My friend Jason had an incident a few days earlier, so he's off driving for a month and I picked him up.  I think all is well, though he has a better appreciation of the issues with not taking his meds.  The heist itself ended amazingly, with a lion and baboons running rampant throughout the casino and our heros walking out in their disguises.  I also got to break out new props, including the ring with the magnet that triggers the magnetic switches in the lamp, which produces a UV light that shows the secret writing on the tarot cards.  Whew!

Work continues to be strange - mostly just waiting for people to get back to me.  Emma's birthday is coming up next weekend, so I've got to get ready for that.  Jo's also done a great job getting our garden ready to go and was giving out tomato seedlings to passers by.  I'm hoping I can help move things along - exciting to see everything growing and tasty looking.

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